Death Announcement for Sharon Shrader's passing. Forward by Linda Streissguth
Sharon Lee Shrader, five-term Kitsap County Treasurer, long-time civic and democratic political activist, mentor to many, remarkable cook and hostess, died June 30 at a Port Orchard assisted living facility following a year of failing health.
Sharon's political career was ignited by the Port of Brownsville commissioners who proposed conversion of the recreational marina into a commercial space and tank farm. Their refusal to listen to community animosity against the proposed development prompted Sharon to run for port commissioner in 1972. She won, breaking into the old boys club, and led the successful fight to keep the Brownsville Marina devoted to recreation.
Sharon volunteered and Chaired the Kitsap Planning Commission during the development of Bangor Naval Submarine Base. The commission's decisions would eventually bring State Highway 3 and thousands of new residents to Silverdale and lead to conversion of the former chicken capital of Puget Sound into the retail and medical center that it is today.
In 1984 she was appointed county treasurer to replace a departing Billy Eder, and went on to be elected to this position to serve 4 1/2 terms; Her tenure brought many innovations to the department, including moving the department into the digital age; pioneering an investment pool for higher returns and more money to county departments and districts; and instituting credit card payment of property taxes.
"Serving as treasurer for all the jurisdictions of government in our county has given me a unique insight into how our government works, the interconnections, interdependency and the various roles and responsibilities as well as an understanding of revenue and taxation," Sharon wrote. It summed up why her Treasurer experience qualified her to be one of 21 elected Freeholders tasked with the formation of a new county charter and form of government in 2000.
Following retirment in 2002, she was appointed to serve on the Bremerton Housing Authority and her tenure saw the redevelopment of West Park from a collection of World War II duplexes for low-income residents to the development it is today with low-income and market rate apartments and single family houses, retail and community amenities.
Sharon's leadership and policy expertise has been felt by many organizations including: Sinclair Landing Association, Kitsap League of Women Voters, Visit Kitsap, Democratic Women's Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Kitsap Community Clinic, Green Mountain Rehabilitation Medicine, and West Sound Chapter of the American Red Cross, and League of Woman Voters.
"She was a person who cared about others," said Congressman Norm Dicks, perhaps summing up Sharon's legacy.
A public celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, Sept 8, 1-4 p.m. at Hood Canal Vista Pavillion, 4740 View Drive, Port Gamble.